Stay Safe During Hurricane Season

Stay Safe During Hurricane Season
Water safety doesn’t only mean pool safety.  We are officially in peak hurricane season, so let’s look at what steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way. With some preparation, you can avoid some of the danger associated with hurricanes at this time of year.

The key to safety during hurricane season (and beyond!) is to prepare way before the storm even begins. In fact, you should plan before there is even a threat of one looming.

Prepare the Home for Hurricane Season

For optimal safety, make sure your house is ready to weather the storm, so to speak. Here are a few items to do in advance of the hurricane:

  • Clean your gutters to avoid excess water, which can cause additional harm to your home.
  • Prepare your yard by securing any loose or lightweight items that could float away due to any flooding or windy conditions, including items like lawn furniture and bicycles.
  • Move your car indoors, if possible. It will be much safer in a garage than out in the elements.
  • Prepare to stay upstairs and away from any windows during the storm. This will protect you from flooding waters or shattered glass. Bring your most valuable possessions upstairs with you so nothing floats away.

Prepare the Family

When a hurricane approaches, you want to make certain of the safety of your family.  Devise a hurricane disaster plan well ahead of time, and make sure that every single member of the family fully understands it – even young children. Go over the key points as a family and practice periodically to ensure that the rules are very clear to all who are involved.

Developing a disaster plan can be time consuming, but worthwhile. Here are some points your plan should touch on:

Evacuate pets ahead of time. Pets often create an additional barrier to safety during a weather disaster. It is too dangerous to leave them behind in houses that could potentially flood.  If they are, their owners often can’t get back to them once roads are closed or inaccessible. Plan ahead of time to make sure your pet remains safe. Drop them off with an out-of-town family member or friend before the storm hits. Your furry friend will be glad to greet you once the storm passes.

Know your evacuation route. Practice this route before the hurricane arrives. Since these weather events are often unpredictable, be sure you’re signed up for emergency text alerts that can warn you of any road closures or dangerous situations. Additionally, it is possible for you to get separated from your loved ones.  In case this happens, designate a central meeting place at which you can reconnect.  Make sure your children know when it is appropriate to call 911.  Practice doing this (without actually dialing) so they can get comfortable with the type of information they may need to provide.

Have a place to stay. Arrange for a place to stay in case of dangerous weather and/or evacuation.  It is best if you can make plans with a trusted friend or family member, but if your plan requires a hotel, be sure to book your room as soon as the hurricane is in the forecast.  Hotels tend to book up quickly in these situations.  In case you end up stranded and unable to get to your planned location, use FEMA’s app to find a nearby shelter.

Ideally, you will never find yourself needing to use these hurricane season safety tips. However, now you know how to be prepared, and how to keep yourself, your family, and even your pets, safe in case you do.